In this blog we will discuss the topic of “Quitting my job because of depression”
We will also discuss what makes this decision so hard, how you can go about it, and what you can do to cope with possible unemployment and the issue of financial aid.
Should I quit my job due to depression?
Here are some signs that indicate that you should quit your job due to depression:
- You have tried to communicate what you need such as accommodation and support from your manager, company, and team when it comes to workload and expectations. However nothing has changed, you do not feel better nor are you able to perform better
- You have tried everything from availing the support services provided at work, taken breaks, did yoga in between hours etc but nothing has worked. You might have to consider that it is not just the management but the work itself.
- You are experiencing physical ailments as well due to chronic stress to the point that it is affecting your body.
- You notice that the stress is affecting your life- sleep, appetite, fatigue, substance use, relationships etc. no matter what you have done to change this or alleviate the stress.
- The culture at work is making things more difficult such as toxic positivity, negativity due to your condition, demotivation, lack of support etc.
- You just do not care anymore, even when it comes to the work that you once used to love. You just want to lie down and sleep for hours instead of doing what you wanted to do so desperately when you first started the job.
- You cannot focus or concentrate, cannot meet deadlines and are no longer able to deliver what is expected of you due to the impact the stress has on you mentally and physically.
- Your relationships are benign affected such as- you cannot be an active and attentive parent because you are emotionally and mentally drained out by the time you get back home etc.
How to quit a job due to depression?
If you find that your mental health diagnosis of depression is affecting your work life here are a few things you can do as you gear your way towards the possibility of quitting:
Talk to a professional
Reach out to a mental health professional, and get yourself into therapy or counselling. You can consider the services provided by your company or you can seek out your own independent therapist.
Work on your condition, and have them assess you for a possible diagnosis related to stress and depression. Understand that therapist and therapy is to help you understand what is happening to you and solve problems so that you get better.
It is not as scary as one might think and your challenges are not what makes you but rather they are problems that we face that can be challenged and overcomed.
Talk to your manager
The next thing you can do is to talk to yo9ur manager to make accommodations such as lessening the workload, making space for you to take breaks in between for short walks, and other things you can do to manage your mental health.
You can discuss with your manager the possibility of delegating extra workload onto your teammates for the time being as well.
This might require you to disclose your condition however it is possible that your manager, provided that they are attentive to the people they work with, would have already noticed.
Remember that your company cannot fire you because of yoru mental ehalth conditon, that would be discrimination. So take heart and open up a conversation around this issue for accommodating you as you get better.
Extended leaves and resignation
If your condition does not get better even after you and your manager have made efforts to accommodate your situation and the condition is just getting worse, it could be possible that you will need to quit your job.
Talk about it with HR- they might have some policies of giving you extended (unpaid) leave for you to take care of yourself and get better if needed. Consider this option or you can take the step of applying for a resignation.
While you resign, make an effort to maintain the bridges and not cut off your manager and colleagues entirely, they might come to your aid when you need to go back to work one day.
How to cope with quitting a job due to depression?
Here are a few things you can do to cope after you have quit your job due to depression:
Persist with therapy
While being unemployed on top of having a medical illness can seem almost impossible, it is very crucial for the outcome of your citation in terms of mental health and career growth that you persist with therapy.
Engaging with a therapist, being diligent with your medication, and making the changes you need to make to get better will determine when you can go back to the workforce, be it at the same job or something entirely new.
If the cost of therapy is becoming a burden consider talking to your therapist for a sliding scale option or the possibility of a pro bono case, and if that is not possible ask your therapist to refer you to someone who can take on your case at a much lower rate or for free.
Join a support group
Another thing you can do for yourself is to join a support group of people struggling with depression so that you can experience emotastic support first hand within these communities and over time learn how to manage your challenges by learning from each other.
It is possible that people with depression can also struggle with a sense of worthlessness, a feeling that you have nothing of value to offer. By joining a group that is open, empathetic, and growing towards healing, you and your experiences can be an excellent sense of support to someone else who is also in their early part of their journey.
Seek out positive relationships
Like seeking out support in groups, seek out positive relationships in your life that do not judge and rather support you as you get better.
These can be friends, family and even past coworkers who offer support and a shoulder to learn on when you need it.
These positive relationships can enable you to heal as well as help you as you move forward into thinking of going back to the work force down the line.
Focus on resting and recovering
The most important thing that you can do for yourself is to rest and focus on recovering, do not rush yourself to get better so that you can work, or start scouring the internet for jobs at 3 am in the morning.
Instead, take time to eat well, rest well, exercise, give time to yourself to think and engage in things you used to like doing before you started working- be it reading comics, or playing video games, or walking your pet.
Let this time serve you for exactly the reason why you decide to quit- to take care of yourself first.
What are the financial aids that one can avail due to depression?
If you have been forced to quit your job because of your mental health or your depression, you can claim unemployment benefits in most countries.
For this blog we will be discussing only in the context of the US and the UK.
To claim unemployment benefits, you must prove the following:
- Have a medically documented health condition such as depression
- Lost your job because of medically verified diagnosis of depression
To prove that you must have a medical documented cause which means having documents that show that you have been to the doctor during the time of your employment and you have been diagnosed with depression.
Depending on the employment agency of your country, they will review your situation as well as the circumstances of your condition and might even do a medical assessment of their own to check your eligibility for unemployment claims.
In the UK, if you have been diagnosed with depression you can claim the following benefits:
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) If you struggle with everyday tasks due to depression such as planning and mobility and carrying out your daily activities.
- Attendance Allowance (AA) You could get Attendance Allowance for your mental health condition such as depression if you are over State Pension age and need support.
- Universal Credit (UC) If you have less than £16,000 in savings, and are unemployed due to your medical condition such as depression.
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) If your diagnosis of depression has rendered you unemployed in the UK, You could get a ‘new style’ ESA if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions
In the United States, if your medical condition such as depression has renewed you unfit for work and unemployment these are the following benefits that you can claim.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with proof that you haven’t been able to work for at least 12 months and have paid Social Security through paycheck deductions for the last 5 out of 10 years.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to SSDI in the case that you have clinical depression and also low income or less assets.
- Medicaid that provides low-cost healthcare to people with a low income. You can qualify for it after 2 years of having SSDI.
FAQ related to Quitting my job because of depression
Is it okay to quit your job for mental health?
Yes, it is advised that if your mental health is being severely affected, to the point that nothing you do is helping you manage stress at work or in your personal life, that you take leave or quit your job to focus on recovery.
Can you leave work for depression?
You can take an extended leave based on the FMLA for depression as long as you are an eligible employee.
Is it OK to quit a job due to stress?
If your job is causing you so much stress that it’s starting to affect your health, then it may be time to consider quitting if nothing else have worked out such as asking for lighter workload or for support from management.
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Does Depression Make You Eligible for Disability? Verywellmind. Retrieved on 9th February 2022.
How to Tell if You Are Eligible for Unemployment Benefits. The Balanced Careers. Retrieved on 9th February 2022.
Gross.A. Depression at Work: How to Cope. Monster.com. Retrieved on 9th February 2022. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/depression-at-work